Heather Protz: States Project: Nevada
Born in Akron, Ohio, Heather Protz moved to Las Vegas in 2004 to accept a position as a photography professor at College of Southern Nevada. She works with digital photography. Popular at CSN for her popular “Las Vegas Document Class”, she’s the kind of professor that goes out every week with her students to shoot different locations in the Las Vegas Valley. Shooting right alongside her students, and posting her images along with her students on the class Facebook page, she leads and teaches by example.
The photographs featured in the series Turning the Tables: A View from the Street capture not only the people of Las Vegas but also the essence of place. Fearlessly, she ventures places with her camera I would not go. The results of her wandering off the beaten track prove surely worth the risk.
Heather Protz, artist, educator and explorer, resides in Las Vegas, Nevada and Santa Fe, New Mexico, creating art ranging from documentary work to large-scale conceptual pieces. Protz works on location, photographing with a variety of image-making tools, from toy camera to smartphone to professional digital camera, her artistic vision adapting to the device and location encountered. Recent works include composite panoramas depicting undulating, rhythmic, and colorful abstractions transforming cityscapes from the mundane to the urbane.
Protz earned her BFA from The University of Akron and her MFA from Ohio University. Her fine art photography is regularly exhibited around the country. In 2001, Protz received an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship, and in 2009, a Nevada Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship. This latter fellowship resulted in an invitation to participate in Panorama, a show currently traveling throughout Nevada into 2016.
Turning the Tables: A View from the Street
Shooting in the photographic tradition of street photography, Las Vegas, my hometown, became a rich source of inspiration. From Vegas I have ventured to a other cities, photographing the locals, the tourists, the young, the old, the affluent, and the down and out. From the ordinary actions of the natives to the curiosity of the sightseer, this series examines the daily experience of people navigating a city. The range of emotions and expressions juxtaposed within a city brings forth a universal language of human experience translated by the photographic eye.
My camera of choice for this particular project is small, quiet, and compact. My goal was not to attract the attention of the subjects, but to capture an instant revealing the impact the city has on its people. I process the images in black and white to strip the emotion of color away, letting one focus on the people. I further alter the images by putting greater focus on the subject, letting a slight blur occur elsewhere in the frame. Exhibition work ranges in size from 15×15 inches to 40×40 inches. Pigment ink on paper.
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